A construction company in Stockton-on-Tees has been fined GBP 5,000 after an employee suffered work injuries when a trench collapsed.
Building worker John Taylor, 44, was laying pipes in a trench dug for drainage in County Durham when the trench wall collapsed, leaving him trapped for more than two hours.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the driver of the excavator used to dig the trench had not been trained suitably for its use.
HSE inspector Dr Dave Shallow said that collapses of this kind are a common cause of work injuries in the construction sector and steps should have been taken to avoid it.
"The employee using the excavator should have been properly trained and industry guidance, which recommends providing shoring or trench boxes, should have been followed," he added.
HSE recently launched a wide-ranging crackdown on construction sites, planning a series of surprise visits to locations around the UK.